Syma X8HG Altitude Hold Quadcopter

This summer, teaching a beginner to fly a quadcopter has never been easier, when the height of the aircraft is constantly level, allowing the pilot to focus on forward flying and yawing around. Syma continues to improve the next generation of budget quadcopters with barometer sensors for Altitude Hold, adding it to the Syma X8HG.  Pressure sensors are not new to the quadcopter drones scene but not many budget quadcopters carry them until recently.  The Syma X8HG also has an improved 1080p camera and a standard gopro fixed mount, which allows you to interchange with a GoPro camera.

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First Impression,  the polished luster of smooth metallic paint takes it up a notch, material used is light-weight Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a common thermoplastic polymer (also used by Lego).   It flies very smoothly and the camera is a great improvement, but the lack of gimbal causes some jello with the stock fixed mount.  We are pleased you can actually substitute the camera with a GoPro equivalent

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User Segment
Keen Beginners, Park Flyers, Ready To Fly, Off the shelves, Collectors, Budget (source $136 June 2016)

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What To Expect If This Your First

You can easily spend 10 minutes on each flight, setting up and flying. The actual flight may last 5-7 minutes. On a Mode 2 radio transmitter, throttle stick is on the left.

Some assembly is required.

  1. The propellers are lock into place with an intricate system of iron pins and lockstitch as shown on the video.   First to remove the transparent looking lockstitch off the pipe by rotating the lockstitch 90 degrees anti-clockwise, until you hear a click to release the pin.  Remove the pin and the lockstitch.
  2. To install the propellers, here are the steps.  Insert the correct propeller into the pipe all the way down, with the metallic washer facing up, add the transparent looking lockstitch with the notch on top, rotate it to align the notch to the pin hole.  Insert the iron pin (shaft).  Rotate the lockstitch inside 90 degrees clockwise until you hear a click that locks the pin mid way.  Cover the propeller with a prop nut.  A lot of fuss, but still a genius engineering piece of work.

Connect your battery to your quadcopter, close battery door and power on, lay the quadcopter flat on a hard surface immediately. This will allow the quadcopter to self-level the gyroscope. Power on your radio and move your left thottle stick up and down once to bind the receiver. When you are ready to fly, hold both sticks inwards to arm the motors, the propellers will begin to rotate slowly.  The quadcopter is now live and has entered into flight preparation mode.  To stop the motors, hold the left stick to the lowest point for 3 seconds (which means don’t try to descend at full speed for 3 seconds or it will just shut off).

The quadcopter LiPo battery may get a little warm after each flight. When the voltage is low, the quadcopter four lights will begin to blink and will begin to descent to prevent the battery from over-discharging. Over-discharging a LiPo battery below 3 volts per cell, can permanently damage the battery. It is best to let the LiPo cool down before the next charge.

You must set the speed to High (H) rates for outdoors by pressing the left shoulder button a quick once.  Holding it down will turn on headless function.

When recording with the stock camera, the four indicators lights at the bottom of the quadcopter will flash intermittently.

With a 6-axis gyro flight controller, you can toss your quadcopter in the air and throttle up in full to self-level.  Lower your throttle stick to about half once you regain control to hold the altitude. You will than need to yaw around to identify the front or back, to regain your orientation.  If it helps, mark the back with red tape to make it more visible.

To complete an auto flip, fly to about 10 feet and press the top right button, and move the stick in the direction you want it to flip. It will auto flip!

When the four indicators lights at the bottom of the quadcopter starts to flicker, it means the aircraft power is low.  At this time, the quadcopter will descend to a safe height and limit the height it can climb.

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Flight Characteristic

Very smooth flight and it makes a nice banking turn.  Moderately quiet.

Similar Model Aircrafts

Users have considered these 2016 alternatives: MJX 102H, Syma X5HW, Syma X8HG (wifi), Syma X8HC

Camera

Photo (8.0MP). The camera is a low end 1080p 30 fps camera with 720p option.  Records.mov files.  See video for results.

Factory Specifications
Model:X8HG
Frequency:2.4G
Channel:4CH
Gyro:6 axis
Camera: Photo/Video(8.0MP)
Battery:7.4V 2000MAH
Flight Time:5-7 Minutes
Charging Time:200 Minutes
Radio Control Range: 70m
Battery for controller:4 x AA batteries
Weight: 612g
model size: 50*50*19cm

What we love about it

  • Smooth, stable flight that holds the altitude reasonably well
  • Radio range improvement

What is essential we hope to see in the next version

  • Better camera mount to correct the jello (without increasing cost)
  • An alternate way to stop the motors instead of holding the left stick to the lowest point for 3 seconds. Since XH8G has a controlled descend, unknown to some users, descending at full speed for more than 3 seconds will actually shut down the quadcopter in mid-air

In terms of ranking, I would say it is in the top 5 favorites during this release recorded June 2016.    (Current Picks dronemission.com/top5).

Flight Tests in progress, be back with videos..  source: http://youtube.com/diydrone  Join us, you are welcome to share your reviews, photos and videos here

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A DroneMission.com Project

Contribution by the DroneMission.com R&D Team

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